“There is No Nature” Part II, Mount Eerie Sinking into the Ocean Roar

The following is a visual prose poetry response to Mount Eerie’s second 2012 release, Ocean Roar. It’s a continuation of the piece “Mount Eerie under the Clear Moon,” inspired by the first release, Clear Moon, and an interview with the artist, Phil Elverum.

 

The car sped down the highway with an intensity of some impending unknown cataclysm
until it wasn’t clear if there was still a road underneath the wheels or just falling into the vast
roaring ocean. The foam was blue and iridescent carrying the colors from the dusk into my windshield
or the rain from falling clouds and it was a marimba or a glockenspiel or an organ or something, I
don’t know. On the dock there were pale lights glowing from across the water from houses or
people or lanterns. I heard a voice and called, “Who is there?” but the small yelp on the wind
grew louder until I realized that it was the voice of the water, being carried by waves into a mass
of static fuzz. There was clapping in the clouds that turning into the sound of a stream running that
turned into a passing car or an oxygen ventilator. Rain fell into the slapping waves so that water was
everywhere, in the air, the earth, the vessel for the ocean, in me, in the car, in the light trying to shoot
its way through the drops of sound. It washed over noise of children laughing and playing with a
piano and a lovely girl humming. There was a constant beating that made my shoulders tense,
yet at the same time sounds so lulling that they blew the billowy sky over the distance
between me and the island and the mountain. I was there, or I was in the car, or I was off
somewhere making love or dying. There was barely even any rhythm to it. In dreams the ground
drifted off beneath our feet and all the water that was contained underneath seeped up through the
grass. It spoke of ancient questions, sometimes in German. We were sure that the water kept on
going and that swimming it, the distance between the waves and the molecules of the night sun
split before the pixelating mountain. OBFUSCATION. The fog was rolling in from that rocky pile
out west to get tossed in the waves. In the middle of it all, far out enough that the land shrinks
into a tiny dot, it becomes an alien planet orbiting some distant sun that has a name that no human
tongue can pronounce, because it was so heavy and churned like some great wooden mechanism were
below it. A giant wheel turning and keeping everything moving. So vast and empty that it becomes a
desert. The place that is the absence of water is the same as the place that is the absence of land.
Sinking; light doesn’t sink water. It tries to reach into the deep, but turns into a mess of
rippling expanse. The storm had stopped. My shirt was wet and my pants were dry. I walked
the road back to the town with beads of water sweating off of strands of my hair. The town was
empty. Everyone didn’t even have time to pack up their things before abandoning the place. The world
had stopped moving. I wasn’t even there. Someone was snapping. A final breath of the storm wafted
around in the street before being swallowed by a storm drain. I saw Phil walk out of the studio,
the keys in his hands. He dropped them. He’s standing there dropping them over and over
again, a skipping image of burning film. Over that wild westward expanse there was so much
nothing, but in nothing there was some kind of peace. An easier type of piece. I was trying to reach
for something to hold, but it was something that I couldn’t hold; something dissolving my hands in the
wind. I lay down in bed, with a night cap on that drifted past my waist and had a poofy ball on the
end. I pulled the covers up to my chin and I could still hear the ocean. In this place where he
lived, there was a constant roaring, constant noise all the time. From my bed, I heard it swell and
lengthen. A wailing guitar solo, saying something, but nothing. Roar like an animal. Hungry and adoring.
*

Trackbacks

  1. […] that made a cult following for fans of the album The Glow, Part II, that makes Clear Moon and Ocean Roar great sister albums, but how he uses it to construct a greater theme. Clarity vs. obfuscation, the […]

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